GEI’s ecological restoration experts apply a suite of knowledge and tools to repair and restore impaired, damaged, or degraded ecosystems. Our multi-faceted approach to restoration considers the intersection of ecological, functional, regulatory, and cultural needs. GEI’s interdisciplinary team is skilled and experienced in all aspects of ecological restoration across the country.

Our staff assess existing and historical site conditions to determine how and why a site has been impacted or degraded. GEI’s team of ecologists and engineers analyze the complex interactions of climate, geology, plants, water, soils, wildlife, and humans and how those factors contribute to the health of a given ecosystem. We combine these factors with a client’s schedule and budget to develop clearly defined project goals and scientifically defensible restoration plans.

01.

Expertise

Critical Issues

Ecosystem Degradation – While current regulations protect habitats and the species that rely on them, historic human impacts on habitat have resulted in functional degradation to our ecosystems, causing adverse impacts to biodiversity, water quality, water supply, flooding, and recreation. GEI works with clients to restore damaged habitats that provide important ecological functions, contributing to improved ecosystem health benefiting humans and wildlife alike.

Climate Resiliency – Communities are increasingly dealing with the effects of climate change. Climate science and our own life experiences are evidence that climate changes threaten the integrity of human and ecological systems around the globe—sea level rise is causing shorelines and coastlines to be more frequently inundated and extreme weather events are pushing infrastructure meant to contain and control natural forces to their limits. GEI works with clients to address the threats of climate change with ecologically informed solutions.

Multi-Objective Projects – There are a multitude of federal, state, and local environmental regulations that can delay projects and require excessive and expensive mitigation. Instead of viewing these regulations as obstacles, GEI’s approach is to turn them into opportunities for a more sustainable project. GEI works with clients to develop multi-objective projects that integrate mitigation into the project, resulting in more efficient project delivery and projects that provide multiple benefits.

Differentiators

GEI offers services to meet client needs during all elements of the ecological restoration project lifecycle, from planning and design through construction management. The GEI restoration team excels at executing an interdisciplinary approach. We seamlessly integrate ecology and engineering, combining an in-depth understanding of physical, chemical, and biological factors, their intersection and influence on each other in both natural and built systems. GEI combines this integrative practice with social and cultural elements to create project designs and implement ecological restoration measures that are successful from a functional, ecological, and societal standpoint in both the short and long term.

GEI is unique because we have teams of local practitioners across the United States and Canada that actively collaborate across our entire footprint. Our breadth and depth of experience spans a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the country and is based in both science and practice. We use this experience to develop practical project solutions. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, GEI has experience in the assessment, planning, implementation, and monitoring of ecological restoration projects.

02.

Services

Ecological Restoration Planning and Design

Successful ecological restoration planning and design begins with an understanding of local climate, geology, ecology, soils, water, and regulations. GEI’s integrated team of ecologist, biologists, landscape architects, and engineers combine their local knowledge and experience with a client’s goals, budgets, and schedules to craft ecological restoration plans that are functional, feasible, and ecologically sound.  GEI can tailor the scope and scale of the effort to meet the needs of any client from landscape-scale restoration planning to site specific management plans for private, public, and non-profit clients.  Design elements may vary greatly, but commonly include site grading, native planting and seeding, bioengineered erosion controls, and invasive species management. GEI’s project designs are based in real world experience gained from constructing the projects we design.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

East: Laura Schwanof

Mountain: Sarah Skigen-Caird

Central: Brian Majka

West: Vance Howard

 

Habitat Mitigation Planning and Design

GEI takes a comprehensive approach to addressing our clients’ habitat mitigation needs. We engage early in the project lifecycle, integrating with project planning, design, and permitting to avoid and minimize project impacts and develop mitigation plans that are practical and achievable. Habitat mitigation planning should consider and align with regional conservation priorities and restoration initiatives, resulting in mitigation that addresses multiple objectives and achieves benefits beyond just meeting regulatory requirements.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

East: Laura Schwanof

Central: Kelly Rice

Mountain: Sarah Skigen-Caird

West: Vance Howard

Green Infrastructure

GEI’s Green Infrastructure (GI) practice is built around monitoring, understanding and emulating the kind of complexity, redundancy, and interdependencies that foster ecological resiliency. Our practice addresses GI project goals with the best science, practical engineering, resourcefulness, and creativity that a fully integrated, national practice can provide. Our team can imagine, plan, design, permit, build, and maintain our projects, a distinction few firms or organizations can claim at the national scale. A key aspect of GEI’s GI practice includes reclamation of degraded ecosystems by repairing broken hydrologic cycles with soils, plants, and manpower. This work reduces runoff, increases evapotranspiration (and cloud formation), builds soil quality, increases groundwater recharge, improves food networks, reduces heat effects, and builds systemwide resiliency.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

East: Laura Schwanof

Mountain: Sarah Skigen-Caird

Central: Scott Dierks

West: Vance Howard

Ecological Restoration Project Construction, Management, and Monitoring

In addition to planning and design, the GEI team is skilled in effective habitat restoration construction including: administration and oversight of construction contract, planting and seeding, installation of bioengineered shoreline and streambank stabilization features, and management of invasive species in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial environments.

GEI firmly believes that monitoring and adaptive management during the establishment period are critical to meet short-term project objectives and achieve long-term restoration success. GEI’s restoration team can handle all site, wildlife, and vegetation monitoring requirements. Our keen observational skills and practical on-the-ground expertise result in early intervention with practical management recommendations to achieve maximum results.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

East: Laura Schwanof

Mountain: Sarah Skigen-Caird

Central: Brian Majka

West: Vance Howard


SEE ALL
Meet the Team

Brian R. Majka, CERP

Senior Professional

Laura A. Schwanof, RLA

Landscape Architect/Ecological Practice Leader

Vance Howard

Senior Restoration Ecologist

Scott Dierks, P.E.

Senior Water Resource Engineer

Ashley A. Ficke, Ph.D.

Fisheries Ecologist

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